By Sam Robinson
The annual Summer Family Concert Series at the Gazebo kicked off its 22 season with an electric performance by the Flying Toasters, an Indianapolis-based club band, June 3.
The Summer Family Concert Series has ten more concerts planned every Wednesday until August 12. The concerts start at 7:30 and usually run for 2 hours. They’re free and open to the public, and guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, blankets and picnic baskets.
The concert series is entirely funded by donations from individuals and businesses, with a significant donation made by the City of Carmel. Volunteers form the entirety of the concert staff.
“It’s so popular because it’s outdoors in the summer right on the lawn of the city hall,” said Melanie Lentz, a member of the Carmel Fountan Square Committee, which plans the concerts. “They feel like they are a part of their community.”
Lentz is also a spokesperson for the City of Carmel, but she said that the two organizations are separate.
“Carmel does contribute to the concerts, but they’re entirely supported by volunteers and funded by sponsorships,” Lentz said.
Lentz said that the concerts usually draw in anywhere between 1500 and 2500 people. The lawn surrounding the Gazebo at the Civic Square was completely full on the night of June 3 for the year’s first concert.
Lentz, a longtime concert attendee herself, said that the key to the concert’s success is “to keep it fresh every year.”
“We keep some acts to make the regulars happy,” Lentz said. “But we’re also bringing in new acts every year.”
Regulars will be familiar with the Indianapolis Jazz Orchestra, which plays on July 15, and the Endless Summer Band which plays the last concert on August 12.
For a full schedule, visit the Carmel Gazebo Concert website.